It’s time for our third edition of our #Blogmanay roundup, aÂ unique chance for people to instantly share their Hogmanay experiences in Scotland. Today weÂ are excited to feature a guest post from Scottish travel bloggerÂ Emma Gray, who recently participated in both the Hogmanay festivities in Edinburgh and a tour of the Highlands to see some of the incredible sceneryÂ Scotland has to offer.Â If you’d like to read more about Emma’s travels (she’s ticked off 26 countries on her list so far) visit her blogÂ Emma’s Travel TalesÂ or reach out to her onÂ twitter through the user name @ScottishEmma123
And now over to you, Emma!
“After the whirlwind of madness that was the spectacular Hogmanay festival in Edinburgh, I wasÂ so looking forward to getting into the Highlands of Scotland with Haggis Adventures to explore the more natural side of my wonderful country.
As a proud Scot,Â IÂ couldn’tÂ wait to explore some areas of Scotland that IÂ hadn’tÂ yet had the chance to.Â Many people thought it was a crazy idea to send 21 bloggers from aroundÂ theÂ world, including myself, into the Highlands in the harsh winter months. Well, theyÂ couldn’tÂ have been more wrong – we enjoyed unseasonably warm temperatures and were evenÂ lucky enough to be treated to some blue skies and sunshine!
In just three days we explored Glen Coe, Loch Ness, the Cairngorms and the Isle of Skye; passing by countless other enchanting lochs, hills, valleys and waterfalls on our journey.Â The scenery is truly breath-taking. Dwarfed by the steep hills around me I wasÂ stunned intoÂ silence and a sense of awe.We began at Glen Coe which has garnered a lot of interest thanks to recent James Bond movieÂ Skyfall, and my goodness it deserves it.
At Loch Ness we heard the tales of the famous monster (or monsers!) of the Loch, and the unexplainedÂ mystery whichÂ surrounds their potential existence. The fact that the Loch is shrouded in this mystery only adds a sense of intrigue to its already intense natural beauty.
The real highlight of the trip for me was visiting the Isle of Skye. The raw, mostly untouched, beauty that is visible on the island is both captivating and unforgettable. The Kilt Rock, so calledÂ because the rock carved by the sea and winds looks like the tartan of a kilt, is beautiful and only added to by the picturesque waterfall cascading down the cliff and into the sea.
My visit to the Highlands was one Iâ€™ll never forget, but it definitely wonâ€™t be the last time I explore. By the end of the trip I was truly grateful to belong to such a beautiful, wild and natural country. I definitely left a little piece of my heart there, and Iâ€™m already planning to visit again in summer and this time for much longer.
I want to see a different side to the landscape and the scenery there, although knowing my luck itâ€™ll probably be typical Scottish summer weather â€“ rain!”
Thanks very much Emma! We really enjoyed following you and experiencing Scotland afresh through a Scot’s eyes! We’ll no doubt hear more from youÂ – getting out and about and enjoying what you’ve so beautifully described will hopefully inspire others to do the same during our Year of Natural Scotland 2013